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Fri Sep 14, 2012, 08:38 PM

"In the Twilight of Empire" by Jeff Faux at In These Times

In the Twilight of Empire

by Jeff Faux at In These Times

http://inthesetimes.com/article/13629/in_the_twilight_of_empire/

"SNIP........................................

A disconnected elite


History, as the adage says, is written by the victors. George Orwell famously stated, “He who controls the present controls the past. He who controls the past controls the future.” This is a point we normally think of as referring to the ability of conquerors to justify and immortalize their victories. But it also applies to the way the “winning” generations think about past losers. From the perspective of the former, the price, however steep, paid by the latter was clearly worth it. We in the succeeding generations take for granted that the pain and suffering of those who went before us justifies our happiness.

Scolding those who worry about the country’s prospects, John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary Magazine, told a conservative business audience in the fall of 2011 that the country’s past is ample proof of its future success: “The amazing durability of the American system over 235 years is the primary reason for optimism about the American future.”

The United States as a country will obviously survive almost any conceivable economic hard times. Given its level of development and size, even as its relative rankings decline, the United States will continue to have one of the world’s largest economies. The disconnect between the interests of the nation’s citizens and its economic elite will accelerate the decline, but the decline will occur over decades. It took more than three centuries for Rome to fall, and a century for the British to drop to the second tier of world powers. In any practical sense, the United States is immortal.

Although not quite as secure, the concentrations of wealth held by Americans also have a sort of immortality that is the special privilege bestowed on the corporation by the state. Individual corporations can die from bad luck and incompetence or a reorganization of investors’ portfolios. But adequately managed, the wealth moves from one protected corporate nest to another—deathless as long as its special status is indulged by society.

.......................................SNIP"

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Reply "In the Twilight of Empire" by Jeff Faux at In These Times (Original post)
applegrove Sep 2012 OP
defacto7 Sep 2012 #1
raccoon Sep 2012 #2
defacto7 Sep 2012 #6
crazymanb10 Sep 2012 #3
crazymanb101 Sep 2012 #4
crazymanb11 Sep 2012 #5
modrepub Sep 2012 #7
kenny blankenship Sep 2012 #8
rickyhall Sep 2012 #9

Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:54 PM

1. In any practical sense, the United States is immortal.


What is "practical immortality"?

Practically immortal is oxymoronic or in the least a contradiction of terms.

Nothing is immortal, and an ideology is not mortal therefore can't be immortal.

Are they saying that the US is everlasting?

It's not in any case.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 11:04 PM

2. Change occurs much faster than it did in past centuries.

"It took more than three centuries for Rome to fall, and a century for the British to drop to the second tier of world powers."

Think how different the world our kids are growing up in today--or even the world of the 20-somethings--
is from the 1950's or 1960's.

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Response to raccoon (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:02 AM

6. true, many things are going faster...

But in the 60's we had the idea things were going to be much faster when actually the momentum has slowed to a crawl. I wish I had time for the whole spiel but corporations have posted the stop sign to slow invention for the maximizing of profit and religion has dogged our tracks for millennia. If the Greeks had not been sacked by the Romans, etc. we probably would have been long past colonizing Mars. I read once that we are possibly 500 to 1000 years behind where we could have been had it not been of the destruction of the Greek civilization.

No, Human growth goes in waves and sometimes, like the dark ages, it stops completely. It could happen again.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 11:40 PM

3. Spam deleted by Control-Z (MIR Team)

 

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 11:44 PM

4. Spam deleted by Control-Z (MIR Team)

 

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2012, 11:48 PM

5. Spam deleted by Control-Z (MIR Team)

 

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 07:22 AM

7. I hate the Rome analogy

It's only from the prospective of your place in the historical timeline that one can judge when a civilization has past and even that's tenuous at best. Historians decided that Rome "fell" in 476 even though portions or Roman administration hung on in Gaul into the 480s, the Ostrogoths sought Romand titles and continued Roman Law practices into the Byzantine reconquest, consuls were named into Justinian's reign and Roman Emperors continued to rule from Constantinople until 1453. If the US does "fall" many aspects of our civilization will endure, some good (democratic ideals, capitalism) and some not so good (consumerism).

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat Sep 15, 2012, 05:26 PM

8. I lost interest the moment he confused people who destroy America more slowly

with some kind of repository of hope for the middle and working 99%. They are not. The choice between the insane and the corrupt is no choice at all.

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sun Sep 16, 2012, 10:25 AM

9. Rome

Rome still exists in the form of the Roman Catholic Church..

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